Aiano's made traditional window guards to protect Salisbury Cathedral Chapter House

Aiano’s has a proud association of many decades with the remarkable Salisbury Cathedral Stained Glass workshop. From the cathedral cloister, Sam Kelly and his team of glaziers provide stained glass conservation and restoration for Salisbury Cathedral itself, of course, as well as for churches and cathedrals in Wiltshire, Dorset, Hampshire, Somerset, and parts of Berkshire.

Over the years, Aiano’s has been proud to make traditional hand-woven window guards for Salisbury Cathedral Stained Glass, to their rigorous standards, for churches in the south and south-west of England.

AIANO traditional woven mesh guards for Salisbury Cathedral Chapter House

Completed around the year 1280, the octagonal chapter house at Salisbury Cathedral is perhaps best known for contains the best-preserved of the four surviving original copies of Magna Carta. However, the building itself is a magnificent medieval structure, and has been the subject of major repairs in recent years to the stonework and glazing.

As part of this process, Aiano’s was asked to make special guards to protect stone traceries in the upper section of the building. Pigeons have damaged the medieval stone traceries, and the guards were needed to help protect the precious stonework from further deterioration..

Identifying the optimum guard shape and dimensions

The Cathedral experimented with different shapes and colours of guard in order to achieve the most effective, sympathetic and inconspicuous solution.

The shape of the guard was important and, in the first instance Aiano’s made a sample guard that followed the quatrefoil shape of the tracery itself. However, in this instance the goal was not only to prevent pigeons from entering the space, but to prevent further erosion of the tracery itself. Therefore, the Cathedral eventually settled on a size and shape that would cover the entire tracery. The guard is square at the bottom, and echoes the trefoil outline of the tracery at the top. See our article about Holy Innocents’ Church, in Epping Forest for another example of how Aiano’s make traceries to complex shapes.

Aiano made pipe guards for All Saints Church pipe guards for the church of All Saints, Wickham St Paul.

Aiano’s made 80 traditional woven mesh guards to protect medieval stone traceries at Salisbury Cathedral Chapter House

Aiano made pipe guards for All Saints Church pipe guards for the church of All Saints, Wickham St Paul.

This close-up of the installed guards at Salisbury Cathedral Chapter House also shows how the stonework has been eroded

Selecting the right finish for the guards

Apart from the size and shape of the guard, the colour of the coating was also important. During the first stage of the guard development, Aiano’s made a sample guard which was powder coated black. In most cases Aiano church window guards are powder coated black. In addition to the perfectly made and fitted guard, the black powder coating helps to make the guard less conspicuous.

In this the case of Salisbury Cathedral Chapter House, however, the guard was resting against the pale stone and the black powder coating actually made the guard more noticeable. The Cathedral experimented with a grey coating, but eventually settled on a coating that came as close as possible to the colour of the stonework itself, a greyish beige.

Salisbury Cathedral Stained Glass

Salisbury Cathedral Stained Glass workshop takes pride in the conservation and restoration of stained glass of all periods, providing a service for cathedrals, churches, architects, conservation bodies, and private customers as well as the Cathedral itself. This includes the conservation and restoration of existing stained glass and lead lights, the design and production of new stained glass and lead lights, and associated metalwork.

C. Aiano and Sons

Aiano’s is the leading maker of wire mesh window guards in the country. We have been making window guards for churches and heritage buildings continuously with pride for more than 150 years. The production techniques have changed little in this time and our knowledge and expertise has been passed down through generations. We have expertise in measuring, producing and fitting complex-shaped window guards.

A large number of churches and cathedrals around the country protect their treasured stained glass and leaded light windows using Aiano’s custom-made hand-crafted window guards.

For more information about AIANO traditional church window guards do not hesitate to contact us. We can make guards to all sizes and requirements, and also offer site services. Please call Scott or Gokay on 020 7987 1184 or email us if you would like to discuss your requirements, or require further information or advice on AIANO guards.

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